Me and my buddies had a really good day of duck hunting a few years back. For several days afterwards my hearing was noticeably affected. Thankfully it went away after a couple days but I know it had to have some long term effect. It scared me enough that afterwards I was determined to find something I could use.
I first bought a pair of amplified muffs. They are great for the range but terrible in the field. For starters I could not mount the shotgun properly. With the rifle it was okay since I typically had more time to get set up. However, I do a fair amount of coyote hunting
and it quickly became apparent that the muffs weren't going to work out. Having two ears allows you to hone in on the direction sound is coming from. Most amplified muffs only have one input which prevents you from being able to accurately tell where sounds are coming from. The other thing that's problematic with muffs is the wind noise is usually terrible if the muffs are amplified.
After seeing the review for the Sound Gear
plugs I started to look up info on similar products made by other companies. A friend pointed out to me that most of the other products were more expensive than Sound Gears plugs so we both decided to try them out knowing that there was an excellent return policy if we weren't happy with them.
Yes, it is a lot of money to shell out for a set of ear plugs!!! Believe me, I am just as much of a tightwad as the best of them but I can tell you that I am beyond happy with these things. Some people posted about not wanting to wear plugs because they couldn't hear themselves walking around or a bear was going to sneak up on them. HA!!! The thing I like about the Sound Gear plugs is that they are only slightly amplified. It actually helps with stalking game because you can hear yourself better than without the plugs. You also can wear these things all day. No need to stop what you are doing in the heat of the moment to place them in your ears. You can pick up your hunting partners whispers much more clearly!!! Directional hearing is the same as if you didn't have the plugs in (if your hearing without he plug is good enough to tell where the sound is coming from it will be as good if not better with the Sound Gear plugs). Lastly, wind noise is not an issue except in gale force conditions.
One thing that did take a bit to get used to is the sound is slightly "tinny" with the plugs in compared without them. The sound is slightly sharper. Not annoyingly sharper but enough to notice a difference. Once you have them in for a few minutes though you stop noticing it.
No BS these Sound Gear Plugs are going to be the answer to most everyone's issues with normal hearing protection and amplified muffs. Again, yes they are expensive, but when you consider all of the other benefits from slightly amplified hearing as well as preventing hearing loss...... It's well worth it.